Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation
3550 Barron Way #9a • Reno, Nevada 89511
Inspire Scholarship Ceremony

Inspire Scholarship Ceremony

Childhood Cancer Survivors

Each year, we award scholarships to childhood cancer survivors and young adults currently in treatment. Our foundation believes in young adults who have overcome adversity and are striving to achieve their academic dreams. Childhood cancer survivors inspire us with their resiliency and tenacity, and the Inspire Scholarship is one way that we can support them as they move forward through adulthood.

At the 2019 Inspire Scholarship Ceremony, David Wise, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist skier, presented about conquering what life brings. He has had physical and emotional peaks and valleys throughout his career, but he realized that his support system was essential as he celebrated his successes or overcame failures. Similar to the community that rallies behind a child with cancer, his team, the people around him that supported him, always had his back.

“You guys each have a team and you have a new weapon, you have overcome or you are overcoming this incredibly difficult adversity but on the other side you’re going to be stronger because of it,” Wise said.

Our Inspire Scholarship program awarded scholarships to 21 childhood cancer survivors and young adults currently in treatment. Through generous grants and sponsors, the program supports young adults affected by childhood cancer in achieving their dreams through higher education. Since the program started in 2012, we have awarded $416,000 in scholarships to survivors, and the funds have been applied to many fields of study from universities and colleges to vocational and technical schools.

One of the Inspire Scholarship recipients, Haley, is striving to become an oncology nurse. Through her cancer journey, she experienced pain, surgery, recovery and joy. She was moved by the idea of helping children in the same way nurses helped her through the good and the bad, “I would like to inspire others by being someone they can look to in times of need,” she said.

After completing treatment, Haley dedicated her studies to help other children affected by cancer. She recently celebrated her acceptance into the Orvis School of Nursing for the fall of 2019 and shared her joy on social media stating, “All of the hard work has paid off. God truly does have a plan and there is a light at the end of every tunnel. I can’t wait to begin this journey and be one step closer to helping kids with cancer.”

Wise spoke of an analogy that helped him through his life and career – He compared overcoming adversity to building a jump. Adversity represents the blocks of snow made out of all the hard stuff, which builds up to create the foundation of a ramp. “What I love about that [analogy] is that everything that you survived or that your family has survived or someone close to you has survived just becomes another block you can build your jump out of,” said Wise. “And the more blocks you build, the more blocks your jump has in it, the greater your trajectory.”

Wise wrapped up the ceremony with words that exemplify the accomplishments of these survivors as they step into a different journey in life and build their own careers. Wise said, “There’s nothing I’m more excited about than telling you guys that because of what you’ve been through you can accomplish more than anybody else. I just want to empower you guys with that message and I want to thank you for your journey because it’s important and it’s powerful.”

With every scholarship we give, we know that a child with cancer has more opportunity to learn and reach higher dreams. To use his metaphor, we know that these survivors have earned every block carved out through their journey with cancer. And yet, we are grateful we can help propel them forward to achieve greater things.

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A special thank you to the donors who directly support this program: Charles H. Stout Foundation, Charles Mathewson Foundation, DiRienzo Foundation, Jet Nevada Fulfillment Center, the Trowbridge Family, the LeSourd Family, U.S. Bank, Morgan Stanley for Leonard Wohletz, and Wood Rodgers.

Press Release –

(Reno, NV) – Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation (NNCCF) hosted a parade ceremony on Tuesday, August 11 to honor of 28 childhood cancer survivors receiving the Inspire Scholarship.

“The Inspire Scholarship ceremony parade was a wonderful way to celebrate with our recipients. It was exciting to see 18 of our 28 recipients, especially after these last few months, and their enthusiasm during the ceremony” said NNCCF executive director, Shirley Folkins-Roberts. “We are incredibly proud of these young adults as they pursue their dreams.”

These scholarships assist with continued education at a university, college, vocational or technical school.

Scholarship recipients who were assisted by NNCCF accepted their scholarship in the NNCCF parking lot under a balloon arch. This social-distancing parade is in lieu of the Inspire Scholarship Ceremony event that typically celebrates the recipients and donors with a reception and lunch.

“We are very grateful to the board and staff at NNCCF for their support during Shannon’s cancer treatment and recovery through this exciting time for her pursuing her college degree at UNR,” said Kathleen, mother of Inspire recipient.

NNCCF has provided $5.3 million in direct financial assistance to local children battling cancer in 20 years. Through NNCCF’s Inspire Scholarship, more than $465,000 in scholarships has helped childhood cancer survivors and young adults affected by cancer to pursue career dreams.

The Inspire Scholarship program is supported by the generosity of C. and J. Panattoni, Dwyer-Stowe Charitable Fund C/O Fidelity Charitable, Earl and Elizabeth Ash Foundation, Estelle J. Kelsey Foundation, John Ben Snow Memorial Fund, S. Colfer, S. LeSourd, Winchester Family Foundation. And Thank You Ma’am Reno supported an additional award for recipients to receive books and materials.


The Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation is the only non-profit in the region solely dedicated to helping local children and their families affected by childhood cancer. NNCCF’s programs and services include the Family Assistance Fund, Inspire survivorship program, Hope for the Holidays program and emotional support through end-of-treatment celebrations and family activities. For more information, call (775) 825-0888, visit or follow on social media @NVKidsCancer.


The Inspire Scholarship, which began in 2012, has awarded $465,000 to childhood cancer survivors in the northern Nevada region. In 2019, the program awarded a scholarship to 23 young adults pursuing higher education, vocational, or technical training. The Inspire Scholarship program has encouraged the community’s youngest cancer survivors to follow their dreams and become the strong and educated young men and women of our future generation.

Since the initial launch eight years ago, the Inspire Scholarship has helped with career dreams of applicants to become nurses, pilots, architects, beauticians, and much more. The Inspire Scholarship helps young adults who are currently in the fight, or who battled childhood cancer as a child, to see beyond their diagnosis and into the world of limitless possibilities.

Victoria Matthews, a recent Inspire applicant and childhood cancer survivor, wants to do more for the community now that she is cancer-free. Her ultimate goal is to become a pediatric hematologist-oncologist, and her cancer journey only solidified her dreams to help other kids just like her. In November of 2015, Victoria was diagnosed with cancer and immediately began a nine-month chemotherapy regimen, which took a toll not only on her body but her mind. “I would say that my greatest need before, during, and after cancer has been emotional support,” Victoria said.

The Inspire Scholarship provides emotional and financial support for young adults like Victoria who have been through serious physical, emotional, and financial challenges that may arise during the duration of their treatment process. Victoria’s aggressive chemo schedule forced her to take time away from school to focus on her treatment. She felt she could no longer live a normal teenage life because she missed out on everything due to her diagnosis.

Victoria’s battle with childhood cancer was one of the toughest times in her life, but she continued to fight so she could spend the rest of her life inspiring those around her. When she was just five-years-old, Victoria knew she wanted to be a doctor, and her cancer diagnosis only motivated her further to achieve her dreams. “I just really want to help kids,” Victoria said. “It’s something kids shouldn’t have to go through, but if I can help them, even just a little bit and be the kind of hero my doctors and nurses have been for me, that’s my goal.”

Victoria’s cancer journey taught her to appreciate life and never take anything for granted. She is currently studying cellular and molecular biology at the University of Nevada, Reno to accomplish her aspiration of becoming a pediatric oncologist.

From the moment of a child’s diagnosis, NNCCF works with the family to meet their needs. This can range from financial support for medical bills, travel to and from treatment, and educational support through the Inspire Scholarship or E-SMART programs. The Inspire Scholarship ensures that the child never gives up hope for a bright future.

The 2020 Inspire Scholarship application deadline is right around the corner, and all applications are due May 8, 2020. Young adults are encouraged to apply for the scholarship if they meet the criteria below:


Article By:
Allison Kibbe, NNCCF Marketing Intern

Press Release –

Scholarships Awarded to 19 Childhood Cancer Survivors


(Reno, NV) – Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation (NNCCF) awarded scholarships to 19 young adults at the Inspire Scholarship ceremony on July 26, 2018, at The Grove. The Inspire Program helps young adults who battled childhood cancer, or are currently in treatment, to continue their education.

NNCCF offers this program to support young adults who have been affected by childhood cancer in achieving their dreams. The Inspire Program has awarded $268,000 in scholarships to childhood cancer survivors since the program’s inception in 2012.

The awarded scholarships will be applied to many fields of study at an assortment of accredited universities, colleges, vocational and technical schools. This year’s recipients will be attending the University of Nevada, Reno, Boise State University, and Cal Poly among others. Recipients plan to pursue studies in architecture, hematology/oncology, nursing, journalism, teaching and much more.

Guest speaker James Bull, a childhood cancer survivor, delivered a motivating speech at the ceremony. “Being so young you get this premeditated idea for what the rest of your life will be like, but there is nothing that feels better than that captivating feeling of being alive. Like really alive,” said Bull. “You have so much to look forward to.  Make memories, take pictures, and live every day like it could be your last. Because we know first-hand how quickly that can be taken away.”

Each young adult submitted an essay and quote they find inspirational. Scholarship recipient Brittany Grecco shared her aspirations to reach for her dreams and be inspiring, “I hope to inspire others by leading through example that you will always get what you put in, that positivity will always win, and that there is always something to be grateful for.” Her inspirational quote is a Tweet from the band ModSun, “No matter the amount of negativity you’re presented with, 5 minutes from now could be your best moment.”


The Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation (NNCCF) is the region’s only nonprofit dedicated to helping local children and families affected by childhood cancer. Its goals are to alleviate the financial and emotional strain of childhood cancer by providing financial assistance, emotional support, advocacy for increased research funds, and awareness of childhood cancer. NNCCF encourages ongoing enrichment for children and young adults diagnosed with cancer through educational and scholarship programs. For more information, call (775) 825-0888, visit or follow on social media @NVKidsCancer.


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3550 Barron Way #9a Reno, Nevada 89511
Tax ID: 20-8623503